Spartans Smackdown UM 26-20; Regain Respect

This certainly is one of the ones you point at and say, ‘Michigan-Michigan State' and sometimes it defines you. To me, it's a critical game. That's just the way it is. I've always pointed to certain games when I've been a head coach and I try to draw on the rivalries that are important to the people that played in the past.

EAST LANSING - Michigan State's defense played a stellar 55 minutes of football and then hung on to upset #20 Michigan 26-20 for back to back wins over the Wolverines.

MSU (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) held Michigan to just 28 yards rushing and Carlos Brown to just 15 yards.

"I think that was critical in this game. We knew we needed to stop the run and I think we were able to do that early on in the game," said MSU head coach Mark Dantonio.

"We couldn't run the ball, lamented UM coach Rich Rodriguez. "Some of it was that we couldn't get into a rhythm. We didn't have the ball and when we did they kept us to three and outs. I'll have to watch the film and see where our blocking was."

The result was that MSU turned Michigan into a one-dimensional team, but freshman quarterback Tate Forcier was sensational in bring UM back for the tie.

MSU led the contest 20-6 with less than five minutes remaining before Forcier hit Darryl Stonum on a 60-yard pass play to cut MSU's lead to 20-13.

The Spartans got ultra conservative, and with only :02 remaining, Forcier connected with Roy Roundtree to tie the score.

It was the MSU defense coming up big when Chris L. Rucker picked off Forcier on UM first possession of the overtime. Then it was Larry Caper running over several UM defenders en route to a 23 yard game winning touchdown.

"Larry Caper's run at the end of the game was huge," said Dantonio. "I'm extremely happy for our football team and I'm very proud of our team and how we represented and how we continued to play."

MSU next travels to Champagne to take on the Fighting Illini (1-3,0-2 Big Ten)


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